Update [7/10, 7 a.m. PT]: Nintendo followed up yesterday's announcement, dispelling speculation on whether WayForward would be tackling a Nintendo franchise. "Please note that WayForward’s new title featured in #NintendoTreehouseLive is based on a third-party property," the statement on Twitter read.
Last month, Nintendo skipped what would have been its usual E3-timed Direct presentation, and it's not clear when we can next expect to see a big procession of announcements and reveals from the company again. Tomorrow, however, Nintendo will show off something brand-new that's coming from River City Girls and Shantae developers WayForward, and it's going to share a spotlight with Paper Mario: The Origami King.
Via Twitter, Nintendo of America has announced that a special Treehouse Live stream airing tomorrow, July 10, at 1 p.m. ET / 10 a.m. PT will also include "a first reveal and gameplay" for a new game from WayForward. Nintendo specifies that this is a franchise that's new to WayForward, which means we can actually rule out a lot of things: No Shantae, River City, Marvel, The Mummy, Contra, Goosebumps, Double Dragon, or Adventure Time.
Instead, the prolific developer is going to be covering new ground that Nintendo has decided to feature alongside one of its first-party titles. In Directs, Nintendo features all sorts of titles from developers big and small, but it doesn't do one-off reveals from other developers all that often. Perhaps WayForward will be taking on one of Nintendo's properties, similar to how Brace Yourself took on Zelda with last year's Cadence of Hyrule?
This Friday stream will actually cap off something of a big week for WayForward. Yesterday, it announced that the original Shantae will be re-released for both the Switch and as a special edition Game Boy Color cartridge thanks to Limited Run Games. The developer is also working on a new project, not DLC, related to River City Girls.
At any rate, with Paper Mario: The Origami King already in the hands of reviewers and coming out next week on July 17, this WayForward reveal may be the more interesting half of tomorrow's Treehouse presentation. You can check out USgamer's impressions of The Origami King so far before tomorrow's Treehouse stream.
As for when we can expect more reveals from Nintendo or its partners, that's harder to say. Nintendo reportedly skipped doing a Direct last month due to difficulties stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, and in May industry analyst Daniel Ahmad said sources told him that some of Nintendo's first-party titles have been internally delayed due to the crisis. Then again, Nintendo created and shipped a small, free game out of nowhere during lockdown, so don't count out further surprises.